Christ United Methodist Church will host ‘Songs of the Season’ Christmas concert Dec. 12 from 7 to 9 p.m. to benefit Open Table Nashville, a nonprofit organization that aids the homeless. The event was organized by musician Bill Griese of Franklin.
For about a year, Musician Bill Griese, Franklin resident, envisioned a Christmas concert benefiting the needy during the holidays.
When he approached Christ United Methodist Church, where he is a member, about the endeavor, they embraced the idea. Griese then put his idea into motion by planning the Songs of the Season concert featuring holiday music that will benefit Open Table Nashville, Inc., a nonprofit organization that helps to meet the basic needs of the homeless and is dedicated to fighting the cycle of poverty.
“I am a huge fan of the holidays, and I love Christmas music,” Griese said. “And I always thought about combining that with helping a charity in the community. People are in the giving frame of mind, and it’s a time to look around and help the less fortunate.”
Griese said that Open Table Nashville was chosen as the charity of choice because of its involvement in helping the homeless and impoverished seek shelter from the cold during winter months as well as provide other assistance year round.
“We’re honored and grateful to be supported by our community,” said Ingrid McIntyre, executive director of Open Table. “I can’t think of a better thing to do in the holiday season than to gather with friends and share an evening of peace in the midst of what can be a chaotic time. That’s exactly what we try to do all year round at Open Table Nashville . . . to be in community with our friends who are unhoused … providing a bit of peace in the midst of chaos.
McIntyre said that the organization is moving an average of 10 people a week into housing through their partnership with the How’s Nashville Campaign - costing about $1000 per person.
“We also host Emergency Warming Shelters when the temps drop below 25 degrees, which keep around 150 of our friends per night warm and full,” she added.
The organization looks for housing year round, and in the winter it is even more urgent McIntyre said.
“So many of our friends die every year because of the cold weather. Of course, if you can’t provide housing, then blankets, towels, toiletries, sleeping bags, hand warmers, paper goods, coffee, sugar, creamer, heavy duty gloves, size L or larger coats and thermal underwear, tents, and volunteer hours are always helpful.”
On Thursday, Dec. 12 from 7 to 9 p.m. six local singer-songwriters will join together to perform an evening of Christmas music. Presented in the popular Nashville format of a “songwriter’s round,” the artists will perform their own renditions of several Christmas classics as well as some original holiday songs.
“Nashville is filled with writer’s round nights, but I thought that it would be nice to do one featuring a Christmas show,” Griese said.
The show’s roster features such Americana, country, pop and Rock-a-billy artists such as Gene Cotton, Griese, Payton Taylor, Bill Maier, Chi McClean, and Renee Wahl. All money raised will go directly to Open Table Nashville.Volunteers will also be on hand to accept additional donations of coats, hats, gloves, blankets, towels, paper products, cleaning supplies, cold medicine, coffee, creamer and sugar, and anything else that can help OTN’s Emergency Winter Shelters. Admission/donation is $10. For information, please contact, Rev. John Hill, Associate Pastor at 615-790-2112 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Open Table Nashville, located at 210 Morton Avenue, is a non-profit, interfaith community, established in 2010, that disrupts cycles of poverty, journeys with the marginalized and provides education about issues of homelessness. To learn more, visit online at www.opentablenashville.org
Posted on: 12/5/2013